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Where extremes meet

Steve Morse, Cosmo Music Hall, Toronto, Oct 18, 2009; Photo: Nick Soveiko CC-BY-NC-SARitchie Blackmore, House of Blues Chicago, Oct 17 2009, Photo: Nick Soveiko CC-BY-NC-SA

October this year saw both banjo players touring the Eastern part of the North American continent with their respective bands. Which gave some of us the opportunity to see Blackmore’s Night and Steve Morse Band within a matter of days.

Yours truly was busy with the so called real life, but finally got around to process pictures I took at both gigs. Here they are:

Before you ask, all the pictures are published under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike License.

Many thanks to Daniel Bengtsson for all his help, and to Minstrel Hall and T.J. for cooperation.

35 Comments to “Where extremes meet”:

  1. 1
    Eric says:

    Well, both great guitar players.
    But there is more to it than being a great guitarplayer I think. And then Ritchie has so much more charisma than Steve…

    You can feel it in the hall when he walks on stage, there is a vibe going trough the air, something I don’t experince with Steve, how good a guitarist he is.


  2. 2
    D.H. Tree says:

    They were only a few days apart in Massachusetts as well – the Morse Band played in Fall River, MA Oct. 23 and Blackmore’s Night played the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA Oct. 27. Only got to check out BN, tho …

  3. 3
    Crimson Ghost says:


    That all depends on how you define ‘charisma’, if you think rarely smiling and being famous for moodiness and firing lots of people is charasmatic then so be it, but I define it differently. Steve Morse has loads of charaisma, I think you’re looking for any way to divide them…. give up, its not a contest in any way, niether playing nor personality wise.

  4. 4
    Bo says:

    Eric #1
    You are so right. Blackmore has it all!
    In 20 years there wiull still be a Blackmore spirit, but Steve – I’m not sure.

  5. 5
    Simple Simon says:

    “And then Ritchie has so much more charisma than Steve…”

    …well thats up for debate. there are people who think the opposite to be true

  6. 6
    purplepriest1965 says:

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, both looking good.

    It thought Steve was getting a bit old but this pic is cool.


    Only one of them coloured in Purple…..Still that so well known aura
    The other one the friendly neighbour in his t shirt and jeans…..

  7. 7
    Crimson Ghost says:


    Who said that? I see the quotation marks but don’t recall where it was lifted.

    When will you stop taking shots at Morse? You do it at every last possible chance, and thats your petty annoyance, let_it_go… aspire higher, before you expire! Get a hold of yourself.

  8. 8
    andre sihotang says:

    …and if somebody will hope Blackmore invites Morse to play some notes with him on stage (or the opposite), it will be me. I think people will love it..

    Maybe they could play some notes from Blackmore’s Night track or Morse’s track which will show a product of their skills and their styles. I know it’s easy because both of them are genius guitar player.


  9. 9
    HZ says:

    They are few and with no arguments, Southern Steel 🙂 Steve is friendly and nice though. Oh, and Split Decision is better than Southern Steel in my opinion, even though everyone says opposite to that. It’s only Simple Simon that caught my attention for repeated listening, over and over again, it’s catchy.

  10. 10
    Tom says:

    They are both 2 great guitarists. Why bother with all the comparing and knocking them. Blackmore wrote the classics and now Morse is playing them.

  11. 11
    james jay says:


  12. 12
    D.H. Tree says:

    I have to say that for as much of a Blackmore fan that I am, two of my all-time Purple faves are “A Touch Away” and “The Aviator” from the Morse era.

  13. 13
    purplepriest1965 says:

    @ 5

    Calling yourself Simple Simon is a bad start…..

    @ 7

    Thought, sincerely, that I was being honest and paid Stevie a compliment on his looks.

    Or do you imply you understand where I was going from with the last sentence?

    I thought most of us here liked it this way, DP with a friendly boyscout instead of a furious enigmatic devil on board?

    @ 10

    Comparing is a INDEPEDENT control system.
    I dont have anything to do with it.
    It has a mind of his own.

  14. 14
    Tracy Heyder (aka Zero the Hero) says:

    As I stated in prior blogs here….I had tickets and went to see BOTH, 2 days apart. Steve Morse in South Carolina and Ritchie in North Carolina, with Halloween in between. I have much to say here but need more time to put it together, pictures too. Don’t want to repeat what has been stated here. I recorded both and have much to say about both. I will present a ‘Subject’ if the ‘Moderators’ and ‘News’ folks think it is ‘Worthy’……lately they seem to be boycotting my News.
    If it doesn’t show, then all I can say here is that they ‘Overmoderated’….

    Give me a few days….


  15. 15
    Moreblack says:

    Purple on Black!Nice colours.The difference is quite simple:Steve is a great guitar player,Ritchie is a genius.

  16. 16
    Moreblack says:

    You don’t have to smile to be charismatic.You don’t have to be moody to be charismatic.The charisma came from the music and heart.

  17. 17
    HZ says:

    To the point!
    Again, to the point 🙂

  18. 18
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    So much loopiness on these blogs. Moreblack, I have to re-quote you if I may. Steve is a genius, Ritchie is a genius.

    As far as “you don’t have to smile to be charismatic”, a smile is beyond one of many elements of what makes up a charismatic person. Perhaps head to Webster’s for a better understanding of the word? And that doesn’t mean that The Man in Black is any less charismatic because of his stone face….

    #10 nails the obvious. Remove them blinders, Blackers….

    Va Voom!



  19. 19
    Rascal says:

    He’s certainly a genius on the lute……cant deny that!

  20. 20
    frank says:

    I’ve seen both several times and there will never be anything more impressing than ritchie!
    Who wrote all the great songs in dp and rainbow? Who had the courage to leave dp and go his own ways with rainbow and bn? Who had the highest record-sales? On whom focus all these discussion in the forums even though not with purple anymore? Who’s the real legend?
    Ritchie is definitely the greatest!
    Steve is a really nice guy and a great guitarist but blackmore is outstanding.
    Cheers to crimson ghost

  21. 21
    T says:

    Re: #19

    Blackmore could quit cold today, and the body of work he has done in the past would still make him the greatest overall hard rock guitarist to ever pick up the instrument. The fact that he has mastered yet another genre just adds to that greatness.

  22. 22
    scott says:

    i think comment #10 nails it basically. best comeback on this site of ‘know- it- all’s’ in my ‘know-it all- opinion’! ritchie has been in the music biz for alot longer and it shows. i think steve is awesome too. there is no mistaking a true musician that can convey taste, emotion, and an ability for improvisation. oh, and #19, how about that hurdy gurdy playing!?!

  23. 23
    ZombifiedMorsie says:

    Steve Morse Band at B.B. King’s in NYC 10/26/09


  24. 24
    shaun says:

    the beauty of ritchie is that although his playing can never be duplicated you never quite know whats going on upstairs he seems so distant from us mere mortals but thats what makes the man in black so special god i miss him.

  25. 25
    PaulH says:

    Well I know who I’d rather see live: hint – it ain’t the one in tights. RB is still a genius but his music has become an endless rehash of itself. He has essentially made the same album 7 or 8 times in a row and what started out as a promising adventure has become a bland and predictable excursion into pseudo-mediaevel middle-of-the-road pop. It’s safe predicatable conservative music. Contrast that with Steve Morse who continues to experiment with styles, genres, line-ups, forms etc. I don’t like everything he does but at least he’s not just doing the same thing over and over again. And no I’m not trying to rehash all those tedious ‘who is better’ arguments that go nowhere. It’s just that I still love Ritchie as a guitarist but I find myself constantly disappointed at what his music has become.

  26. 26
    Sami says:

    @10 Right!!!

  27. 27
    james jay says:

    @21 the ultimate pro bar none.

  28. 28
    Crimson Ghost says:


    They aren’t that far apart in experience, in fact with Steves education he’s been down areas of the pike Ritchie hasn’t. So its really not a fair argument that Ritchie has been recording longer, there is so much more to it. They’re two different styles and thats the easiest way to distinguish them, but that must be too easy for people. Some like Ritchie’s style and some like Morse’ style, and then there is those idiots like myself who’re flexible enough to enjoy them both and still tie my shoes.

  29. 29
    scott says:

    # 25 i partly feel what you are saying. i must admit that the BN albums are getting similiar and i personally would like to see him branch out some. since his rock day’s are probably over, i would like to see him do what uli jon roth has done (incidentally with don airey on keyboards!), play some classical pieces on electric guitar. uli covered vivaldi’s four seasons quite well! seems more exciting than the renaisance stuff for us strat fans. along the lines of diff. to cure, snowman, weiss heim etc.

  30. 30
    Moreblack says:

    Steve’s music is learned in the school.Scales mode and harmony.He was applied Mahavishnu Orchestra alumni in early 70’s.To make music based on books and class is quite simple due to the achademic knowledge.You just have to bland some styles to impress the crowd.To write good and timeless songs is a little harder.Of course Ritchie didn’t do it alone.Steve is great but i’d allways thouth his music was a guitar oriented instrumental for elevators and as background in supermarkets.Dixie Dregs was a little better,but take a listen in The Dregs stuff.It’s boring.By the middle of the record you think you listening the previous number exactly what did happen with A Band On.You hardly can’t separate the songs.To impress the crowd is easy for a great guitar player.Fast runs,arppegios in the speed of light,distorted tones that goes can can can can can…whamy bars dive bombs,etc,an arsenal that make the player’s life a lot easier.But now …IF you really wants to know about Magic,dramaticity,timless music you’ll have to Ritchie (errr),reach a little further on black.Or into the purple.Or in the colours of a Rainbow…

  31. 31
    Danny says:

    @ 15 @ 20

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. The members of the ‘kinder happier’ DP are in a better place emotionally with Morse. That said the musical chemistry of the band changed for good when Ritchie left. The last memorable DP album for me was Perfect Strangers. Kudos to Steve Morse, a fantastic fellow and great guitarist for stepping in when he did, but Deep Purple is and will always be Ritchie Blackmore……

  32. 32
    HZ says:

    I think that you’ve messed up things – I think that Ritchie is the one who experiments with styles, if you don’t like them OK, but the rest is predictable HR more or less LZ sound, over and over again. I have everything that Morse has done, and it’s pretty much same, since first DD album. Still if you listen to Ritchie from pre – DP to BN, it’s all different in style, genre, etc. Not to mention uniqueness of his work in sound and style, and being influential and essential for any guitar virtuoso. Well today he’s into this medieval thing, not what we prefer,but new step and appropriate way for him and his life period – after all that he’s done, that’s it, and why not. I wouldn’t like to see him trying to jump and act wildly like in California Jam, it’s just OK what he end up with. Perhaps we’ll see him in kind of work retrospection thing, and that would be that.

  33. 33
    AndreA says:

    they are 2 greats musician,I have no doubts..

    SM is born in USA,RB in UK..2 differents culture of life,of history,of musical history,2 big different styles to think and to approach to the music..

    Now I appreciate SM more than RB because he plays rock,I appreciate RB because with his guitar he seems to me like a poet,a painter like a Caravaggio,Giotto..
    I like his sound..

    SM is more plastic…different..but he rocks!

  34. 34
    HZ says:

    I don’t know will admin allow this, but I have to say, and it’s just my opinion: for me this DP is DP with Steve Morse, not DP as complete unit (even though they had good time with him), but Ritchie is DP, and he’s essential part of what DP was and is. His spirit will always fly over them and through their music. I’m personally huge Morse’s fan, though I prefer SM Band over DD; but there’s nothing I can compare with what Ritchie has done – for me there’s no discussion on that matter.

  35. 35
    Ted The Mechanic says:

    #30 & #32, With all due respect, there is a clue out there you and others need to get….

    #22- You get it…

    #28- “flexible to enjoy them both” Amen brother!

    Damn! What knots… Can somebody help me loosen my strings?



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